Author Archives: Joel D. Hirst

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).

Remember the Climate Apocalypse?

Remember climate apocalypse? The little girl lectures, scowling in hatred at the leaders of the free world because they refused to do what they were told? Those days almost seem quaint and comical in the mess that 2020 has become. … Continue reading

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Born Defeated

“I want to tell you that you did not win, as you believe, because despite having been born defeated, I still dreamed.” And with those words I ended my first play. Because there is nothing wrong with being defeated, as … Continue reading

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The End Of It All

An unsteady stillness has fallen across the once-hallowed battlefields. The blazing has not stopped, but for the absence of its most-prominent belligerent it might even feel like the glory days of yesteryear when medals were earned and careers made in … Continue reading

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Many Types of Lords

“Joel D. Hirst’s masterpiece is a worthy best-selling novel brimming with poignant lessons about idealism, culture, and religion. It begs us to examine the current state of the world today, a world so divided by different idealisms and misruled by … Continue reading

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America’s New Aristocracy

Originally posted on Joel D. Hirst's Blog:
Every morning, here in West Africa, as I prepare my little boy for his school – the gym and the recess and the library, PE and science class and field trips –…

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After COVID-19

Monumental moments in history often follow great conflagrations. Four-hundred years ago Europe, exhausted of her wars, and seeking to put an end to the 30 years war which was only the latest in the conflicts which had stretched back forever … Continue reading

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On #BlackLivesMatter

Apropos of #BlackLivesMatter, I first arrived in #Africa in 1999, beginning my work of ten years living on the continent trying to end four different civil wars. Two of the wars still rage, two have found a shaky peace – though the violence … Continue reading

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Eulogy for Resistance

One of my wife’s former colleagues passed away yesterday. He was working from his unpleasant extended-stay hotel in Bogota where he had taken refuge after being forced to flee his country; locked down by COVID and still carrying on with … Continue reading

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The Mountains

I am haunted by mountains, ancient and immutable, unconquerable and mysterious fortresses to the past. Sinews and muscles attached to bone, enveloped by a thin layer of skin, ripping upon contact with a rose thorn or bramble; that is not … Continue reading

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The Arriving Ordeal

Originally posted on Joel D. Hirst's Blog:
The Harmattan billows above blotting out the sun, dust coalescing with diluted traces of the acrid garbage fires that warm the ditch beyond the potholed road and the wood smoke from the…

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